23rd Tuna Tournament in the Books

OCEAN CITY- The 23rd Ocean City Tuna
Tournament, played out over three days last weekend in West Ocean City, was
another big success with plenty of big tuna brought to the scale at the host Ocean
City Fishing Center.

With stricter bluefin tuna regulations in place, and a
somewhat lukewarm start to the summer tuna season, it was uncertain going into
the event just how much action was going to take place during the annual event,
which is one of the highlights of the summer tournament season. However, good
conditions offshore and the sudden arrival of great numbers of tuna in the
canyons off the coast did not disappoint the thousands of spectators who
crammed into the marina over the three days.

A total of 69 boats competed in the 2010 tournament last
weekend and just shy of $350,000 in prize money was doled out to the winners in
several categories.

The main categories in the tuna tournament reward anglers,
captains and crews for the single heaviest fish and the heaviest total stringer
weight, or combination of tuna. There is also a dolphin category as well as
daily winners, top junior angler and top lady angler.

The tournament’s top prize went to the crew aboard the
“Canyon Blues,” which won the heaviest total weight category with 597 pounds
worth $162,257. The crew on the “Darlin” took second in the heaviest total
weight category with 507 pounds and was awarded $3,880, while the crew on the
“Rhonda’s Osprey” took third with 506 total pounds, but was awarded $33,187 in
prize money because of added entry levels.

The crew on the “Topless” took first place in the single
heaviest tuna division with a 79-pounder worth $64,022, the third largest
payout in the tournament. The “Fin Chaser” was second with a 78-pound tuna
worth $11,913, while the “Let It Ride” crew took third in the single heaviest
fish category with a 75-pounder worth $24,929.

In the dolphin category, angler Glen Heitman on the
“Playmate” took first with a 32-pounder worth $2,500. Angler Ron Care on the
“Billfisher” was second with a 28-pound dolphin worth $1,000, while John Conrad
on the “D.A. Sea” took third with a 23-pounder worth $500.

top lady angler in the tournament was Valerie Dunn on the “D.A. Sea” with a
64-pound tuna worth $1,500. Angler Charlie Gravina on the “Let It Ride” was the
top junior angler with a 75-pound tuna, which was also the third place single
heaviest tuna. Eathan Spencer on the “Wayne’s World” was the second place
junior angler, with brothers Russell and Matthew Crim on the “Canyon Blues”
tied for third with a pair of 65-pound tuna.